16 November 2012

Getting to know you Thursdays with Virginia Carmichael with giveaway.

Please welcome Virginia Carmichael to my blog today. I have gotten to know Virginia on seekerville and also more recently at facebook. I was so excited when she sold her first book to Love Inspired and I look forward to reading it at some stage. 

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
 I was born in Colorado but raised in Oregon. I spent some time in France, California, and South Carolina while in high school. I went to the University of Oregon and have dual degrees in theoretical linguistics and religious studies. I came back to my home town for 'just a little while' and met my husband here. We have six young kids, who are home-schooled and fairly lovely when they've had enough sleep. Which isn't often enough. :)

2. When you were a child did you have a favourite book or books?
I was one of those kids that thought older was better. At twelve, my favorite book was a collected works of the Bronte sisters. Then I got into poetry, mostly Browning and Pope and other long-winded people. My dad used to take me to Portland (6 hours from my home) so we could troll book shops. Good memories of some beautiful finds! My all-time favorite book when I was a kid was 'The Story of San Michele', about a doctor who moves to a little island off the coast of Italy. Lots of humor, neat facts, and interesting bits about the ruins on San Michele.

3. Do you have a favourite Genre to both read and right write?
Well, I read just about everything. Looking to my left, on my desk: The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott (about the Titanic, a historical, was okay, kept moving along), 'A Fistful of Collars' by Spencer Quinn (hilarious, the language was a bit rough - or RUFF, since it's from the dog's POV the whole way), 'Calling Invisible Women' by Jeanne Ray (incredible, can't say it enough times, you must read it), Sophie Kinsella 'I've got Yout Number' (hilarious and touching, the language was tiresome, but if you can ignore the f word, it's pretty good), 'The Butterfly Cabinet' by Bernie McGill  (historical, very depressing, lots of family secrets, including infidelity, secret babies, death, etc., flipped through it), 'Happier at Home' by Gretchen Rubin (a sequel to her 'Happiness Project', both very, very good books), 'Atlantis Complex' by Eion Colfer (read it before but it's been a few years and picked it up again, MG/YA fantasy).... And more on the floor but I won't go there. Whatever it is, it has to have some humor, somewhere.
  When I write, I tend to veer toward the YA urban fantasy or romantic contemporary genres. But I read whatever is good. Thank goodness for libraries!

 4. Did you have favourite authors growing up who have influenced you?
Definitely. Austen, Anna Sewell (wrote Black Beauty), Milne (wrote Winnie the Pooh, very funny stuff!), Frances hodgson Burnett (wrote The Secret Garden), Zenna Henderson (short stories), Madeleine L'engle... And later on I found Laura Whitcomb, Holly Black, Jonothan Stroud, Haven Kimmel, Adam Rex, to name a few. They all have a really wonderful way of expressing  the ordinary in fresh, unique ways. And there's a lot of humor.

5. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I got an idea for a book in 2009, sort of a clean 'Bridget Jones Diary' set in academia. I still love that book but it probably won't ever find a home. (Jenny here, never say never)

6. How did you go about becoming an author?
 I sat down and started writing. And then when I thought it was good enough, I entered contests, realized it wasn't very good and started over. Then I entered more contests and got a critique. Then I read a lot of books on craft and chose some things to work on, until I thought it was better. I wish I could say I never queried during that time, but I always thought I was a great author, when actually, I probably shouldn't have been allowed to e-mail any agent on this planet until 2011. Maybe not even then.

7. If you were not a writer what would you like to be?
 A kind and gentle human being who follows Jesus. Oh wait, I think I can be both. :) If you mean a career... I loved working as a librarian. I've worked in 6 libraries- academic, law, and public over fifteen years. If I had unlimited hours in the day I would love to hang out in a library.

8. Outside reading and writing what do you like to do?
 Paint. Wood crafts. I discovered buttons recently and now am trying to figure out how to make fun button art. I love everything vintage, quirky, unique, hand crafted. I really admire people who can make something out of nothing.

9. Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit?
I've never forgotten how magical the city of Prague was the short time I stayed there. I lived in Warsaw, Poland attending the Warsaw School of Ecnomics after I graduated from UO, so it wasn't very far. It seems millions of miles away now... I wish we had a teleporter because I would love to walk my children across the Charles Bridge at dawn. Pure magic.

10. If you could have a meal with 3 living people who would you choose and why?
Flannery O'Connor: the great short story author. She was a very faithful woman and half her stories make no sense to me. I have a lot of questions.

Louisa May Alcott: --- of wait! Living people??

Let me start over. Uhhh.
Julie Hilton Steele.
Mary Curry
Christina Rich
(and you're hosting, Jenny!)

 (I think Stephen Colbert would be a good addition to that group. And I'm requesting a really cute waiter, just FYI.)

 facebook friends that I would love to be able to just enjoy a meal with and shoot the breeze.
(Jenny here, I hope this is catered for as I am not that good at cooking but I can cook a lamb roast now.  It would be a fun night.)

Finally can you tell us about your current books and/or any that will
be coming out soon. Also where we can find you on the web.
 I've already finished the sequel to 'Season of Joy'  and it's called  'Season of Hope'. Keep your fingers crossed to see if they like this one. :) (I know, I'm terrible at titles.) My November WIP is the third in the series, set a little further out from Denver, in one of the smaller towns. It's called 'Patchwork Hearts'. I wrote a YA series, an urban fantasy that won some awards (indlucing 'best of the best and the YA in the Emily) but it's just not the right time for that right now. I have a historical set right after the San Fran quake but that hasn't been ;picked up. Also two more modern, longer length romantic comedies. I'll let you know if they ever reach the publishing world. :) One of my favorite projects was a middle grade series I wrote for my 9 year old son, all about a super smart hamster and his boy. That was a hoot!

You can find me on Wednesday at Yankee Belle Cafe where I usually make a mess of whatever recipe I'm trying.

Virginia has kindly offered one commenter a copy of her book. To enter you need to leave a comment with either a question for Virginia or a comment on something from the post. You will have til Monday 26 November to comment. (comments saying good post please enter me or words to that effect will be discarded). Also leave a way to be contacted ie myemail at myemail dot com.


Julie Steele said...


I would love to have dinner with both of you!

Virginia, let's catch that plane to Down Under!

Peace, Julie

Christina said...

You want dinner with me? With me! Wow, I don't think I've ever heard that before. I'd be honored to share it with all of you. We need to set a date.

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

Yes! We need to set a date and make sure it's right AFTER they invent that teleporter!

I suggest breakfast on the Charles Bridge, if we're going for the big dream. :)

Julie- Jenny is coming to the US this May and she'll actually be about 3.5 hours from me at one point. I've already started praying I can get there to meet her.

I say pray, because the other factors (time and money) have a lot less to do with getting there when I have so many little people!

Jenny Blake said...

I am thinking we just need to find a stargate and we are set (or a tardis).
I am going to be sort of in Julie's area when I come as will be in Atlanta and near Chattanooga, not sure where Christina is. But If I cook the roast Lamb is Virgina bringing her cupcakes (and yes I want cupcakes not some healthy dish!).

Sarah said...

I would love to win,Enter me!!
Thanks for the giveaway and God Bless!!
Sarah Richmond

Ganise G. Clermont said...

Would love to be included please! I've been eyeing Virginia's book for a while now.

Loved reading this! You are very interesting Virginia and funny too!! ;)

Thanks :-)

Ganise G. Clermont said...

email : g.gclermont AT gmail DOT com.

Jackie said...

I've seen you commenting quite a bit on Seekerville. It was so fun to get to know you better today.

I love the cover of your book. Very beautiful.

Please throw my name in for the contest. Thanks!

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.

Jackie L.

joyfuljel at (gmaildotcom)

Helen Wakefield said...

Hi Virginia,

So nice to read this interview and learn more about you. I've seen you around on Seekerville too, and it's always so exciting to hear when Seeker friends make their first sale! It's very inspiring and encouraging, and I hope to be one of them ... one day ... but I'm still very early in the process (currently re-writing the unfinished first draft of my very first manuscript!).

You know, I have to confess I've never read Love Inspired before, so if I win your book, it might just be my first :)


All the best!

Judy said...

Hi Virginia, I love the cover of Season of Joy. So beautiful!

My question for you is, What message are you hoping to get across in your writing? What message is waiting for me in Season of Joy?

I really did enjoy this interview and I'm looking forward to reading this book.


Janice said...

Just wondering since The Season of Joy has the wonderful winter scene on the cover if the Season of Hope has a spring scene on the cover? Do you have any influence over the covers for Love Inspired books? I know your story is a basic influence, but other than that, do you make suggestions or do you get to pick your favorite from several choices?

Thank you for entering me in the contest. It would be great to win.

Blessings, Janice

Nancee said...

Thank you so much for a lovely interview and the opportunity to win a copy of this book. It sounds wonderful!

Megan Parsons said...

I love that you would like to just be a kind and gentle human being who follows Jesus! makeighleekyleigh at yahoo.com

Jo said...

I think that working in a library would be such a awesome job. I just love to go to the library and see what they have all the time.

Thank you for the wonderful interview and the giveaway as well.


Jes said...

What a treasure for your kids to have a middle grade series written especially for them by their mom! :) Thanks for sharing the link to Yankee Belle Cafe! The posts were cracking me up and the recipes sound great! :)

jswaks at gmail dot com

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